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Advice for newbie please?
mom2threeBoys wrote:I have decided that starting a week or two before public school is what we are going to do. But I am wondering what you might suggest. We will be doing MFW1 and ECC this first year of homeschool following public school.
I have considered maybe starting with just reading/writing/math for my 4th grader while starting MFW1. Then add in ECC after we get a small grasp on what we are doing. Any pro and/or con thoughts on this? Or are the first couple of weeks of both introductory enough that jumping all in might just be ok? I would love to use as much of both programs as possible. Or maybe save the. MFW1science for next summer? It's hard to plan a school year, let a lone a school day or week, without curriculum in hand. Thanks!
Using MFW ECC was entirely new to us- actually using an organized comprehensive curriculum was new altogether. We ended up starting with ECC core subjects- Bible, science, geography, etc., then adding in all language arts and math after a week or two. The first two weeks were a steep learning curve for everyone, especially around organizing time, and everything took a little longer than it takes now. It was a lot less pressure to have only those subjects to get through when it still took time to find the right book, read the teacher's manual again, etc. It really wasn't a huge loss to start LA and math a week in, and I think the kids got some of the more difficult geography concepts from the first 2 weeks down solid because that was all they were focusing on.
Everything ended up evening out because we've had one full week and a few partial weeks where we did just language arts and math because we needed a lighter week. There's one perspective for you, I'm interested to hear what others think.
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You can go either way... However, I would probably start with ECC - Bible, Geography, Science, Music, Crafts... Maybe even spread that 1st week into 2 weeks, because some of the geography is intense... Do that with both kids. Then, just focus on reading, writing, and math from MFW 1st. There is some fun stuff in ECC that I would have the 1st grader do instead of the 1st grade science. Then, after a couple of weeks add in English, math, spelling, and writing for the older one. The MFW 1st should take about 1.5 hours. Maybe just have oldest doing book basket, handwriting, and math drill while you are working with your 1st grader.
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I agree with the others about starting with ECC Bible, Geography, Science, Music, and Crafts. The first 4 weeks of the program takes more time than after week 4. It might help you to do the first 2, 3, or 4 weeks by itself. Make sure to read the notes. In the first 4 weeks there are assignments in the notes that are not on the grid. [The grid will say "see notes."] Week 5 and on the assignments are on the grid and there are some notes for them.
I started last August with ECC for two weeks before I added LA and math for my boys. I then picked up MFW1 again around the end of September; she had started it in March of K. It does help to stagger start as you learn new programs, new teaching, establish new routines, and get used to the TM. Week 5 and on in ECC has a lot of routine to it, which gives more time for the 3 Rs.
I hope that is helpful!
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I am SO glad to read what others have written about ECC being heavier in the beginning. My plan was already to begin ECC and K first and then add in LA and math for the older kids after we'd gotten into ECC a bit. (This is my second year HSing and first year with MFW. My school aged kids are 4th, 2nd and K plus two littler ones).
Here are my thoughts:
- I really want to give MFW a fair chance this year and for me that means following each day exactly as laid out. So I want to start with ECC to make that a priority (obviously, if I find that somehow tweaking it will work better for us, I will do that, but I want to try it as written for at least a few weeks).
-ECC looks like FUN! Other than my math-loving oldest, I think they will enjoy that part of our curriculum over math and LA. I'd rather start with the fun stuff and add the other things in more gently. Starting with just the more "boring" things could color their attitude about school for the whole year.
-It's already so easily laid out!! If you are just beginning, I think starting with ECC will give you confidence and make those first couple of weeks a little easier before you have to do more planning and prep for the other subjects (This is what I think based on looking at the TG, I haven't done ECC yet, so I could be wrong!)
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Oooh...good point about ECC being the fun part! I had not thought of it that way! And after thinking about it, there is so much more to do in ECC that it would be easier to add the math and LA to that vs the way I was thinking. And I think MFW1 is only 34 weeks? It makes since to even hold off on that until we get ECC going. Then I can figure out what to exclude from 1st grade and when it would be best to work with my 1st grader and preschooler, etc.
Thanks! Now to figure out when to order
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disneymommy wrote:One other thought I'm mulling around and figured I'd share - I had said we were planning to start with ECC and then add in the other subjects.
But now I'm considering just starting at half-pace. Adding in the LA and math from the beginning but just doing the first half of the grid one day and the second half the second day. Not sure if this will work (or even if I'll try it - like I said, I'm still just mulling it over).
I think it would work. It would allow you to build a routine as well.
It really does drop down in work load in week 5, so that is something to remember as you start ECC. If you follow ECC's building into the 3Rs that will impact how week 5 looks as well. The TM does a slow start for parts of the 3Rs and for the deluxe package parts of the program.
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Agreeing with most - I'd start with ECC. ECC is so much fun - and will build enthusiasm.
if you add in some of the bible copy work & handwriting practice, you are already adding In some light language arts. If I'm not mistaken, SP is usually not added until about the 3rd week of school, and it is easy enough to start language arts, and even math later. (Although - I'm a pretty big stickler on math - I almost never let that one go - but that's just me!!)
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